The United States needs Sarah Palin to run for President. It is of fundamental importance that she does so. Not (heaven forfend) because she would make a great Commander-in-Chief, or because her vague and clumsy worldview necessarily deserves an airing. No, she needs to run for President because the American media needs her to run for President.
I’ve been in the States for a couple of weeks, and the influential comment pages all hum the same tune. The current field of Republican presidential candidates is simply too limited (read: not newsworthy enough) as the first primaries approach.
Without Mama Grizzly, the list of declared candidates is indeed pretty grey: the frontrunner, almost by default, is political-speak-your-weight-machine Mitt Romney, brilliantly described by the Washington Post this weekend as “America’s awkward stepdad”. His opponents include John “nice but dull” Huntsman, Tim “dull but dull” Pawlenty, the sparky but inevitably doomed Newt Gingrich and the token rich amateur, Herman Cain, whose outstanding feature is that he refers to himself as “The Hermanator”.
If Palin does not enter the race, it is likely that her less interesting mini-me, Michelle Bachman, will do so, although she will only generate a small fraction of the stardust that Palin would bring to the contest. And, on the Democrat side, the incumbent Obama will go into next November’s election without serious challenge, although as a sitting President he will by then be old news.
Which is why the media over there is clamouring into such a frenzy over the tiniest little thing that Palin does, in a unified attempt to build momentum behind her and make it impossible for her to stay out of the race. The media needs Sarah Palin to run for President. In truth, anyone who cares about the political theatre or excitement of a Presidential race needs her to step up too. So go on. Run, Sarah, run.